What are cat pheromones and how do they work

All animals have their own way of communicating, whether that be through body language or vocalisation, and cats are no different. One of the more unique ways cats communicate is through pheromones.

Calming Cats with Pheromones

There are two types of cat pheromone: Feline Facial Pheromone (FFP) & Cat Appeasing Pheromone (CAP)

What are ‘cat pheromones’ and how do they help reduce stress & anxiety in cats?

Pheromones act is invisible markers, communicating certain information and triggering specific, instinctive responses between animals of the same species. Cats have a special structure located just above the roof of their mouth called the vomeronasal organ. This organ analyses different scents and identifies pheromones.

Different cat pheromones trigger an instinctive calming response, so when your cat identifies them, they instantly feel relaxed and at ease. Certain events or situations, such as fireworks, travelling or vet visits, can be stressful for cats or make them feel anxious. Cats often display their distress through problem behaviour, such as furniture scratching or urine spraying, which is distressing for us too. A pheromone calming product is an ideal way to help reassure your cat, and help reduce general feelings of stress or anxiety.

The two pheromones used in cat calming products are:

  • Feline Facial Pheromone (FFP)
  • Cat Appeasing Pheromone (CAP)


Both the Feline Facial Pheromone and the Cat Appeasing Pheromone promote feelings of reassurance, and help reduce problem behaviour, stress and anxiety in cats. As both pheromones trigger an instinctive calming response, either can be used to support cats during all kinds of stressful situations. But, they do work slightly differently, and therefore you may find one pheromone is more suitable to the situation your cat is facing. 

What is the ‘Feline Facial Pheromone’?

Cat rubbing against furniture and releasing feline facial pheromone      

FFP - Feline Facial Pheromone The Feline Facial Pheromone is used by all cats to mark areas and objects as ‘safe’ or ‘familiar’.

You may have noticed your cat rubbing their chin on objects or gently butting their heads on furniture, people or even other pets. When cats do this, they release the Feline Facial Pheromone from the glands in their cheeks, chin and forehead. This particular cat pheromone is associated with happiness and reassurance, helping cats form positive connections with people and their surroundings. So when a cat does this, they are marking the area as a ‘safe space’.

The Feline Facial Pheromone is ideal for helping cats feel more at ease during stressful situations they may experience while at home, such as fireworks, thunderstorms, changes in the environment and moving house. It can also be used to help reduce problem behaviour, such as furniture scratching and urine spraying.

We use the Feline Facial Pheromone in the Beaphar CatComfort® Excellence Cat Pheromone Plug-In Diffuser and the Beaphar CatComfort® Cat Calming Spray.

The calming plug in for cats is effective for up to 30 days; simply plug in and let the pheromones reassure your cat. The calming spray is pocket-sized, so can be used on targeted areas around the home where problem behaviour occurs, or inside cat carriers for stress-free travel.

What is the ‘Cat Appeasing Pheromone’?


The Cat Appeasing Pheromone is naturally produced by the queen after giving birth and when she nurses her kittens. It helps them feel reassured and comforted, and is a crucial part of the socialisation and bonding process. Although only produced during nursing, cats of all ages are still able to recognise this pheromone, even if they were hand-reared.      

Cats are naturally solitary animals, and can find living in multi-cat or multi-pet households stressful. Using a calming product for cats containing the Cat Appeasing Pheromone can therefore be particularly useful to promote harmonious living, reduce conflict and aggressive behaviour, and promote bonding between pets and owners. It will also help your cat feel reassured during situations such as vet visits and cattery stays.

We use the Cat Appeasing Pheromone in the Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Spot-On. Effective for up to one week, the calming spot-on allows you to provide your cat with continuous reassurance wherever they are.

  • Beaphar CatComfort Cat Calming Spot-On
  • Beaphar CatComfort® Cat Calming Spot-On

When should I use Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Products?

Cats can be particularly sensitive to changes within their environment. Something that seems trivial or exciting to us can cause stress or anxiety for our cats, which they often communicate through problem behaviour. Whether your cat is exhibiting problem behaviour or a specific stressful event is coming up, using Beaphar CatComfort® can help your cat feel at ease.

Signs a cat is stressed

Some signs include scratching furniture, excessive meowing, hiding or withdrawing, changes in eating, grooming and activity levels, or urine spraying.